Gardens of Remembrance are found throughout Erwā
, tended by Necromancers
of the various Erwān colleges.
The gardens function as cemetaries and communal green spaces that people can come to remember and spend time with their departed loved ones.
Within the gardens, the shades of the dead are free to come and go as they please, speaking with the living and watching their children and grandchildren grow. The gardens are places for remembering a loved one, or seeking them out to ask for advice, guidance, and comfort. It is said - by the deceased - that being dead gives one a fresh perspective on life, and more than one philosopher continues to hold lectures at their tomb. Over time, the majority of the dead are slowly forgotten, drifting away from the world and settling into the dream. For this reason, the Necromancers have adopted as their symbol a motif of ripples in a pond, and water features prominently in the gardens.
Erwāns may expect to be buried or interred in the gardens as a matter of course; to be lost, as at sea or in war, is a tragedy beyond mere death - without an anchor, the departed have great difficulty in returning to the living. In the aftermath of The Mage War
, large communal memorials to the lost were erected in the hope that they may act as beacons and attract the dead. Although this effort largely failed, a strange shared grief and the sustained hope that the dead may still find their way back if they are remembered sufficiently brings many of the bereaved back years after the armistice. The Necromancers found themselves in torn between their pastoral duties to the dead and the living, and colleges in the worst affected areas now include mourning-by-proxy an a duty of aspirants, so that the bereaved themseves might be assured that their loved ones are being mourned and allow them to work through their grief.
Interment and disinterment
The ultimate act of condemnation is to deny the internment of a body inside the gardens. King Sigfrid Iaenbeorht, the last king of Bjeria, was denied internment and his ashes were scattered at sea in the hope that his shade would be confounded by the tides and unable to find its way back to land; a fate restricted to only the most reprehensible individuals.
Where political attitudes change, the Colleges of Necromancers ocasssionally find themselves resisting pressure to disinter the remians of this or that political activist or opponent. In all but the most exceptional cases, the College refuses these requests, and a small piece of a corpse or pinch of ash belonging to notable or contentious individuals will be sequestered away for safekeeping.
In the cases of extermely popular or beloved individuals, such as the artist and musician Ijaba Inadottír, the body will be cremated and small urns of ash distributed to multiple gardens.